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Appropriations Committee Transcriber's Office Transcript ...· 3/8/2017 · can make copies for you. With that, we will begin today's hearings with Agency 72, Department of Economic - [PDF Document] (1)

[LB115 LB281 LB379 LB620]

The Committee on Appropriations met at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 8, 2017, in Room1003 of the State Capitol, Lincoln, Nebraska, for the purpose of conducting a public hearing onLB115, LB281, LB379, and LB620. Senators present: John Stinner, Chairperson; Kate Bolz,Vice Chairperson; Rob Clements; Robert Hilkemann; John Kuehn; Mike McDonnell; TonyVargas; Dan Watermeier; and Anna Wishart. Senators absent: None.

SENATOR STINNER: Welcome to the Appropriations Committee hearing. My name is JohnStinner. I'm from Gering and that's the 48th Legislative District. I serve as Chairman of thiscommittee. I'd like to start off by having members do self-introductions, starting with SenatorClements.

SENATOR CLEMENTS: Hello, I'm Rob Clements from Elmwood. I represent District 2.

SENATOR HILKEMANN: Robert Hilkemann, District 4, west Omaha.

SENATOR STINNER: I'm John Stinner, District 48, all of Scotts Bluff County.

SENATOR WISHART: Senator Anna Wishart, represent District 27 in west Lincoln.

SENATOR VARGAS: Senator Tony Vargas, representing District 7, downtown and southOmaha.

SENATOR STINNER: Other members of the committee will join us. They're, most of them are,in hearings and some of them are just late. Assisting the committee today is Jenni Svehla. She isour committee clerk. And we also have our fiscal analyst, Jeanne Glenn. On the cabinet to yourleft you'll find green testifier sheets. If you are planning to testify today please fill out a greensign-in sheet and hand it to the page when you come up to testify. If you will not be testifying atthe microphone but want to go on record as having a position on a bill heard today, there arewhite sign-in sheets on the cabinet where you may leave your name and other pertinentinformation. These sign-in sheets will become exhibits in the permanent record at the end oftoday's hearings. To better facilitate today's proceedings, I ask that you abide by the followingprocedures. Please silence or turn off your cell phones. The order of testimony will be theintroducer, proponents, opponents, neutral, and then closing if it's a bill. When we heartestimony regarding agencies, we will first hear from the representative of the agency or the billsponsor. We will then hear testimony from anyone who wishes to speak on the agency or thatbill. When you come up to testify, please spell your first name and last name for the record

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before you testify. Be concise. It is my request that you limit your testimony to five minutes andwe will be using our light system today. Written materials may be distributed to committeemembers as exhibits only while testimony is being offered. Hand them to the page fordistribution to the committee and staff when you come up to testify. We will need 12 copies. Ifyou have written testimony but do not have 12 copies, please raise your hand now so the pagecan make copies for you. With that, we will begin today's hearings with Agency 72, Departmentof Economic Development. Good afternoon and welcome.

AGENCY HEARINGS

SENATOR BOLZ: Seeing no testifiers on Agency 52, the State Board of Agriculture, we'll moveon to LB115 by Senator Harr. Not seeing Senator Harr, I'm sure the pages will help us track himdown and we'll stand at ease for a moment waiting for Senator Harr to make his appearance.[AGENCY 52 LB115]

EASE

SENATOR BOLZ: Hi, Jamison. [LB115]

JAMISON WYATT: Hi. [LB115]

SENATOR BOLZ: Thanks for coming over. And you're here to open on LB115? [LB115]

JAMISON WYATT: Yes. [LB115]

SENATOR BOLZ: Thank you very much. Go ahead. [LB115]

JAMISON WYATT: For the record, my name is Jamison Wyatt, that's J-a-m-i-s-o-n W-y-a-t-t,and I am Senator Harr's legislative aide. I'm here to introduce LB115 on his behalf. Heapologizes for his absence. He is actually on another bill in Revenue at the moment. LB115 islegislation to direct the Nebraska Tourism Commission to provide for certain uses of a fund, thatfund specifically being the State Visitors Promotion Cash Fund. What we're wanting to do ishave $85,000 of that cash fund essentially earmarked for the use of music festivals in a city ofthe metropolitan class--Omaha. Just so we're clear, no one asked us to introduce this legislationbut, of course, this is the type of music festival which could be used, for example, in the case oflike Maha Music Festival. And I guess I think the question that we need to really ultimately askourselves is, what is the importance of tourism? The purpose is to get people to Nebraska tospend money. And music festivals are a great way to actually attract people to the state and get

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them to spend money. And in the example that I gave you with Maha example, we've seen thatthere actually have been large numbers of people attracted from across the state and out of stateheading to Omaha to that festival. Those numbers have increased over time. For example, in2012 the attendance at that music festival was 4,300; this past year the attendance was at 7,600;the year prior, in 2015, there was actually 9,000 individuals attending that music festival. And wesee that, again, many of those individuals attending are coming from out of state. For example,this past year 13 percent of the attendees at that festival were from out of state, so. The TourismCommission has previously granted dollars to music festivals. For example, Maha received agrant of $21,800 in 2016. And again, we just want to stress again that these music festivals,especially maybe for younger populations, are a great attraction for Nebraska and, right, theTourism Commission has put money into these types of festivals before and we just want toencourage the commission to continue to support these types of...these activities and festivals. Sowith that, I will end my introduction. [LB115]

SENATOR BOLZ: Very good, and certainly if Senator Harr wants to keep his closing, we'll givehim that opportunity. [LB115]

JAMISON WYATT: Absolutely. Okay? [LB115]

SENATOR BOLZ: I'll thank you for your opening and invite any testifiers on LB115 to testify.Anyone in support of this legislation? Go right ahead. [LB115]

LAUREN MARTIN: (Exhibit 1) Thanks. Well, hi. Thank you for the time. You guys made iteasier by clearing out a little bit. Committee, my name is Lauren Martin, L-a-u-r-e-n, Martin, M-a-r-t-i-n, and I'm the executive director of the Maha Music Festival which Jamison justmentioned. For a bit of background, Maha is an annual nonprofit event that takes place in Omahaand is powered each year by more than 300 volunteers and 50 local businesses and institutions.Since 2009, our stages have seen over 100 musicians, both local and national, attractingthousands of attendees from 46 states and counting. On behalf of every individual that supports,enjoys, and believes in Maha, both as a music festival and, more, a community connector, Isupport LB115 because it drives increased economic impact, supports responsiveness to theneeds of our community, and directly increases the appeal of Nebraska to a younger audience.Speaking specifically to economic impact, out-of-state ticket buyers have represented an averageof 20 percent of Maha's total attendance. And I know Jamison mentioned 13 percent. That didnot include the 6 percent that came from Iowa, so. The economic impact of these generaladmission ticket purchases in 2016 alone totaled over $200,000. Furthermore, 22 percent ofattendees reported an overnight stay as part of their festival experience. Specific statistics, just soyou know, are included in your materials for reference if you want to see some more backgroundon that. By comparison to ongoing investments in infrastructure such as performing art centers

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and sports stadiums, festivals are much better investments due to their comparatively low costand high malleability. Maha, as an example, is a music festival focused on showcasing andelevating the community that it supports. In the last five years attendance at Maha has more thandoubled from about 4,000 in 2012 to a sold-out crowd of 9,000 in 2015. This growth is dueprimarily to the continued and growing financial support from our local community. But whatsets Maha apart from the conventions, annual meetings, and sporting events notable for attractingvisitors from outside of Nebraska is the number of attendees ages 18 to 34, which make up morethan 50 percent of our audience year over year. The Tourism Commission's current marketingplan specifically identifies this demographic--the millennials--noting that they are soon expectedto surpass boomers in overall travel spending. Mr. Ricks, in his earlier testimony, stated thatNebraska is not in consideration for people that are planning their vacations. So what do we haveto say to that? Bring on the music festivals. Thank you for your time in allowing Maha's voice tobe heard in support of LB115. As we understand this legislation in its current form, it wouldsupport music festivals in the Omaha metro area. However, I'd like to go on record as saying thatafter seeing the benefit Maha brings to our community, we would encourage that this legislationbe expanded to impact festivals--the connection, experience, and community that they enhanceand represent--across our state. Thank you for your time and consideration. I'm happy to answerany questions you might have. [LB115]

SENATOR BOLZ: Thank you. Any questions? [LB115]

SENATOR HILKEMANN: I'm sorry. I missed the earlier testimony. I was...when is this MahaFestival? When does it occur? [LB115]

LAUREN MARTIN: This year it's August 19. It's usually about the third week in August.[LB115]

SENATOR HILKEMANN: Okay. And where do you hold it? [LB115]

LAUREN MARTIN: It's in Aksarben Village in Omaha,... [LB115]

SENATOR HILKEMANN: Okay. [LB115]

LAUREN MARTIN: ...which is about 67th and Center. [LB115]

SENATOR HILKEMANN: Good. [LB115]

SENATOR BOLZ: Very good. Thank you very much. [LB115]

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LAUREN MARTIN: Thank you. [LB115]

SENATOR BOLZ: Next proponent in favor of LB115. Okay. Anyone in opposition? [LB115]

ANDY POLLOCK: Vice Chair Bolz, members of the Appropriations Committee, again myname is Andy Pollock, A-n-d-y P-o-l-l-o-c-k. Like before, I'm here representing the NebraskaTravel Association, a group that consists of travel-related businesses from across the state. I wantto start out by beginning...or...start out by beginning...I want to begin by saying that we verymuch support music festivals. They are a key tourism attraction. They are key, like the lastspeaker said, to bringing in and attracting millennials. We certainly support the Maha Festival. Itwas started or at least co-started by a good friend of mine and so I don't want to leave thiscommittee with the impression that we don't understand and don't appreciate the value of musicas an aspect of our culture and the importance of that in attracting visitors within the state andalso from outside the state. I'm here mainly just to defend an institution and a practice. TheNebraska Tourism Commission, you heard Mr. Ricks testify earlier, is the agency that is chargedwith promoting tourism and travel in the state of Nebraska. It does a great job of doing that.You've heard a little bit about its grant programs. Like the previous testifier said, Maha hasreceived grant funding from the commission. Music festivals in Omaha have received around$50,000 in funding from the commission in the last three years. Total, there's been almost$105,000 spent for or granted to music festivals and similar music events across the state. Itcould include concerts as well. So I don't think it's an industry or a part of our tourism culturethat's being neglected. There's a process in place. There's a commission in place. And we wouldask...we ask, simply, that you respect that process. The Legislature, I think if the Legislaturewould sign off on a bill like this, it sets a very bad precedent. It sends a message to the state, hey,who's next in line to come ask for $85,000, $100,000? And in fact, before we had even talkedabout this legislation, we saw another bill which will be before you shortly, LB379, in whichessentially the city of Red Cloud is looking for an appropriation as well. I know there werediscussions among other cities that if this grant...if this was a good idea perhaps they should bepursuing similar requests. If we do that we might as well not have a Tourism Commission. If wedo that we might as well not have a grant program. You've entrusted the Tourism Commissionwith this responsibility. I think it's carried out that responsibility well and I think it will continueto do so, especially under the new leadership. And for those reasons, while I would add againthat we appreciate the value of music to Nebraska and our culture, this is not the right vehicle forfunding it. With that, I'd urge you to not advance LB115. [LB115]

SENATOR BOLZ: Go ahead, Senator. [LB115]

SENATOR WISHART: Well, thank you, Andy, for being here today. I did want to talk a little bitto the precedent. You know, I do think you make a good point. But with that said, you know,

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this...the Appropriations Committee, we were just looking at the Environmental Trust, forexample, yesterday and they have a similar kind of grant program. And we have, as aLegislature, determined that a certain portion of dollars from that grant program will go to a veryspecific water issue. So we have done this in the past. So, you know, I think we've already...we'vealready set the precedent in terms of having done it with other organizations. So what we'll haveto decide is whether we want to move forward in continuing to do that. So thank you forbringing that up, though. It's a good way for us to think about this. [LB115]

ANDY POLLOCK: I appreciate that and I appreciate the way that you responded to my pointtoo. I don't know the circ*mstances of the Environmental Trust Grant so I can't speak to that. Iwould say there may be circ*mstances where the Legislature should step in and make a specificdecision. I don't think what you've heard today or what you see in LB115 would be tantamountto those type of circ*mstances that would justify the commission or the Legislature stepping inand basically saying this money is going to go for this purpose here. [LB115]

SENATOR BOLZ: I have a similar question. It seems to me that we've had requests for certaintypes of events over the years, as I served on the Appropriations Committee. I think there wasone on Special Olympics. I think there was one related to a golf tournament. Maybe one or twoof those has been in the Department of Economic Development, maybe one or two has been inTourism. Can you just help me pull apart when you think it would be appropriate for theLegislature to respond to a specific request versus when it wouldn't be appropriate? [LB115]

ANDY POLLOCK: Well, I think...and we talked about that, Senator Bolz, with respect to someamendments that were discussed on this bill. If...and I could be wrong and if I am, please correctme or accept my apology for being incorrect. But I think in some of those previous instancesthere it was a special appropriation by the Legislature with a direction, basically with a directedearmark to utilize that money for a specific purpose, might have been Special Olympics. Mymemory is not going to reach back that far. But in that instance the appropriations is a specialappropriation so it would be in addition to the $852,000 that the commission has in aid rightnow. There was some discussion about doing that for music festivals and our group was open todiscussions on that particular issue if there would be a certain amount earmarked. At first thediscussion began with an idea that there would be a special appropriations for that. Our questionwas, in a budget-light year like this, do we support an additional $150,000 for music or, youknow, do we not for political reasons? In the end, the amendment that I saw earmarked nospecial new appropriations and so we told the group that approached us with that amendmentthat we'd be opposed to it too. So I think...I don't want to try to speculate as to what set ofcirc*mstances might rise to the level of justifying the Legislature's involvement, but certainly ifthere would be a special earmarked new appropriation on top of the existing one, I think thatmakes it a lot easier. [LB115]

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SENATOR BOLZ: Thank you. Thank you. [LB115]

ANDY POLLOCK: Thank you. [LB115]

SENATOR BOLZ: Do we have any other opponents? [LB115]

JOHN RICKS: (Exhibit 2) Good afternoon. My name is John Ricks, R-i-c-k-s, the new executivedirector of the Nebraska Tourism Commission. I'm here today to oppose LB115 relating to theproviding of $85,000 from the State Visitors Cash Fund for promotional and visitor activitiesrelated to music festivals. I'm not going to go through issues that Mr. Pollock did because I don'twant to...I respect your time, but there are a couple of points we want to make. First of all, thecommission supports efforts to conduct and promote events all across the state, music eventsacross the state, and has Marketing Grant Programs to assist in those endeavors. In fact, festivalsacross the state have been granted funds from the Tourism Marketing Program for many years.The intent of our grant programs is to assist communities to raise awareness and general interest,visibility and attendance at their events. And it's very important. It's part of the fabric, it's part ofthat ethos I was talking about before. So whether we're dealing with a music festival, an artsfestival, a running or other kind of sporting event, any local community event, county fair, and onand on and on, the grant programs are really designed to support them all. Designating fundsoutside of existing grant programs is a path I don't think we can simply walk down. I don't thinkit's difficult to understand, if we open the door outside of the grant programs, that will encourageevery other kind of event, attraction, destination, or region in the state to do the same, potentiallyreducing the funds available that we need to kick-start our upcoming out-of-state marketingefforts to invite people from out of state to visit Nebraska. Plus, we feel it's important for localevents or local organizations to have some skin in the game at all times. Our Marketing GrantPrograms consist of $852,000 of funds available to tourism-related organizations across the stateand the local match of these organizations that have come up is also extremely, extremelyaffordable. In fact, this $852,000 as a percentage of our total Tourism Office, as I mentionedbefore, is the largest I've ever seen. Plus, the 25 percent match in the Tourism Marketing GrantPrograms is, frankly, the most affordable, especially when you consider that that 25 percent thatthey have to come up with can be further reduced in half by in-kind donations, thus, reducingout-of-pocket cash outlay to only 12.5 cents on a $1. That's a really, really good deal. Ourexisting grant programs are great. We're going to keep looking at them to making sure they arequality as we continue into the future and will encourage organizations across the state toparticipate in them. And it's within these generous grant programs is where the support by theNebraska Tourism Commission should remain. Thank you, and I'll be happy to answer anyquestions you may have. [LB115]

SENATOR BOLZ: Thank you. [LB115]

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SENATOR WISHART: Well, thank you for being here again today. So the way that you read thisintroduced legislation, you're reading that there is no required match, matching funds. [LB115]

JOHN RICKS: Well, there is a required match. It's 25...it's a 25 percent match, and they cancome up with it in terms of either cash or in-kind. So, first of all, most co-op marketing programsI've been around are fifty-fifty--we put in a buck; you put in a buck. Those are generous. Thisone is even more generous than that because they only have to come up with 25 percent. Andthen of that 25 percent, because they are events, they will have in-kind participation, like we'veheard about the hundreds of volunteers that it takes to pull these off. So the actual cash outlay isonly 12.5 cents on the dollar. [LB115]

SENATOR WISHART: And I guess just to clarify I'm asking that with this legislation, LB115,are you reading within this legislation that there is a match or...? [LB115]

JOHN RICKS: No, I'm reading that there is...would be no match. [LB115]

SENATOR WISHART: There would. [LB115]

JOHN RICKS: It would be a direct $85,000 cash outlay out of the fund. [LB115]

SENATOR WISHART: Okay. [LB115]

JOHN RICKS: Yeah. [LB115]

SENATOR WISHART: So if we were to look at adding an additional requirement for matchingdollars, would that be something that would potentially change your opposition to thislegislation? [LB115]

JOHN RICKS: Then it would just basically fall into the grant program. [LB115]

SENATOR WISHART: Right. [LB115]

JOHN RICKS: So I mean... [LB115]

SENATOR WISHART: But we're specifying that a certain amount is going to go to musicfestivals. [LB115]

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JOHN RICKS: I don't know. I'd have to... [LB115]

SENATOR WISHART: Okay. [LB115]

JOHN RICKS: ...I'd have to see how it's set up in the wording. But we're really trying to captureeverything within those grant programs because that's a large pool of money and we want that allinvested properly. [LB115]

SENATOR WISHART: Okay. Thank you. [LB115]

SENATOR VARGAS: Thank you very much,... [LB115]

JOHN RICKS: Yes, sir. [LB115]

SENATOR VARGAS: ...Vice Chair. [LB115]

JOHN RICKS: Uh-huh. [LB115]

SENATOR VARGAS: Questions or a follow-up question: How do you determine...how do youprioritize the grant program, who gets grants? [LB115]

JOHN RICKS: I have not been through a grant cycle yet. My understanding is that there's acommittee that's put together and they go through each and every one of them. My understandingis also that not every one is accepted because they have to meet certain requirements in terms ofobjectives and things. In other places where I've been, they also have to do a follow-up, and itdoesn't have to be a big piece of research or anything. It just has to be a follow-up in terms ofattendance. I'd like out-of-state attendance and any economic impact information just so weknow that they're actually just not taking the money and throwing an event and seeing whathappens. But, you know, I know there's a look at everything and that not every one is accepted.[LB115]

SENATOR VARGAS: And I ask because, based on these numbers, there seems to be atremendous amount of demand. And I just wanted to get a sense of how within the grant programpeople that are applying are competing against one another... [LB115]

JOHN RICKS: They are. [LB115]

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SENATOR VARGAS: ...and whether or not there is some equity where you are setting aside acertain amount of funds for music festivals,... [LB115]

JOHN RICKS: Oh, I see. [LB115]

SENATOR VARGAS: ...a certain amount for. Because if not, I have questions about who's on thecommission and how they're choosing that. Because, as we're hearing from differentorganizations, it sounds like this is about the first time this happened where people are asking formore funding. There must be a demand. Obviously, we're seeing some data in terms of you putin your marketing priorities that you want to be data driven. [LB115]

JOHN RICKS: Sure. Yeah. Uh-huh. Uh-huh. [LB115]

SENATOR VARGAS: So I'm just trying to get a better understanding of (inaudible). [LB115]

JOHN RICKS: I think that...this is a crazy industry. It's not...there's no tourism store. You justdon't go buy a bag of tourism. It's made up of events and attractions of all different kinds andshapes. So from my experience, if the music festivals were given a...or if a segregated amountwas established for music festivals to be, you know, disbursed through the grant programs, thenwe'd see the arts festivals come in and then we'd have craft beer festivals and it would justsnowball that way and it would actually, I think, be tougher to administer. I think your commentabout who's on the committee and how the decisions are made, we can, you know, certainly lookat. [LB115]

SENATOR VARGAS: That's helpful. [LB115]

JOHN RICKS: Yeah. [LB115]

SENATOR VARGAS: And I would venture to say if people are coming and asking for funds thatmaybe there is a need to figure out how we're prioritizing where the funds are going to and whatkind of activities or else they wouldn't be coming to ask for more funds for specific (inaudible).[LB115]

JOHN RICKS: Yeah, I just think it's my unfamiliarity. I've seen the whole list and it's lengthy. Idon't know if we've looked at and categorized them so, you know, I can't sit and tell you rightnow that there's been so much to a music fund, so much to an art festival. I can't personally dothat right now, but we can look at it that way. [LB115]

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SENATOR VARGAS: Yeah. And then just calling it out because it seems that that's going tobe...if they're asking for it and you're in opposition and I heard somebody else in opposition, andyou don't want this to happen then there would need to be something internally that's done toaddress some of the equity. It seems like an equity conversation that needs to happen in differentprograms. [LB115]

JOHN RICKS: Yeah. And again, I'd like to point out that with the low matching rate on their endat 25 percent that can be reduced to 12.5 percent, you're always going to have heavy demand.Any community, any destination, any organization that wouldn't get into the...or try to get moneyout of the program is probably not doing its job very well, because I would because of theaffordability of it. [LB115]

SENATOR BOLZ: Seeing no further questions, thank you. [LB115]

JOHN RICKS: Thank you very much. [LB115]

SENATOR BOLZ: Any other opponents? Anyone testifying in a neutral capacity? [LB115]

ANDREW NORMAN: (Exhibit 3) Hello. I'm Andrew Norman, A-n-d-r-e-w N-o-r-m-a-n, nativeof Imperial Nebraska, live in Omaha. I am the executive director and cofounder of HearNebraska. I'm speaking today in a neutral capacity because I haven't had a chance to speak withthe Tourism Commission about their stance on this prior to this hearing and, frankly, want to getoff on a good foot with that commission with the new leadership. It was really nice to hear whatMr. Ricks had to say. We've kind of found ourselves in an adversarial relationship it felt at timeswith Tourism in the past, which was unfortunate, and so really, really excited about the newleadership. But I'd like to expand on what my colleague Lauren Martin has said here and expresswhy I believe it's critical to target and reach millennials, specifically young people in general,with a new Nebraska story and why investing tourism dollars into music festivals is a smart,effective, strategic way to do that. Consider when you tell people that you, from outside the state,that you're from Nebraska. What do they say? What do you hear? I often hear football, corn,maybe Larry the Cable Guy. The fact is young people think that Nebraska is old, flat, and boring.It's a place that is antiprogress and anti-inclusivity. If they grew up here they think they have toleave to experience something interesting and experience diverse cultural opportunities. Youngpeople from outside the state, on the other hand, I believe have no idea why they'd come visit atall. Nebraska’s popular cultural impression, frankly, sucks. And it limits Nebraska's businesses'ability to attract top talent and contributes to our brain drain, our net loss of 2,300 highlyeducated people 25 and older each year. Many of us in this room know that this perception isshortsighted. Our music industry alone yields countless, unique, authentically cool reasons foryoung people to visit this state. But despite what I believe to be earnest efforts, Nebraska has

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traditionally done a poor job of telling that story of evolving our pitch, and I think it's a brandnew problem. Hear Nebraska exists to create a new Nebraska narrative through music promotion,events, and education. In 2016 alone, we told Nebraska's music story to more than 150,000viewers, 33 percent outside the state and 7 percent international, through 500 feature stories, 80videos, and 6,000 photos. We produced 51 concerts in 16 Nebraska cities that drew more than16,000 people, including the Good Living Tour, a statewide concert tour we put on with thesupport of Department of Economic Development. And we directed a combined $62,000 to 140different Nebraska artists. In its first year under our operation in 2016, the Lincoln Calling musicfestival, a three-day event, September 28 through 30 of this year, drew more than 6,000 totalattendants from more than 12 states, 27 cities, and the Netherlands. Eighty-four percent of thefestival's audience was under 40 and 59 percent was under 30, and that's just scraping the surfaceof the economic and tourism benefits this festival can provide. To reach our vision of creatingNebraska's version of South by Southwest, we need more investment from the state. And inclosing, I believe tourism has a critical role in not only telling the story of Nebraska's music andarts industry nationally but also in making brand ambassadors out of Nebraskans. Heads in bedsis important, certainly, but we also need to attract and retain the creative class members who arecreating a new authentic original story. We look forward to working with the new leadership atthe Nebraska Tourism Commission to do just that. Thank you. [LB115]

SENATOR BOLZ: Thank you. Any questions? [LB115]

SENATOR WISHART: Well, Andrew, thank you so much for being here today. I am born andraised in Lincoln and it's amazing to see the music scene that's blossomed in this town. [LB115]

ANDREW NORMAN: Uh-huh. [LB115]

SENATOR WISHART: I wanted to ask you a little bit about your experience with the TourismCommission. Have you applied for a grant through the commission and can you tell us about theprocess of... [LB115]

ANDREW NORMAN: Yeah. [LB115]

SENATOR WISHART: ...through the application process? [LB115]

ANDREW NORMAN: Yeah. So we applied last year and were awarded a grant, a tourism grantto support marketing outside of the state for Lincoln Calling music festival. The process seemedpretty straightforward. It felt like there was maybe a little lack of transparency in how decisionswere made and, you know, what events I think were chosen. You know, I believe music festivals

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are a little bit nontraditional compared to kind of rodeos, NEBRASKAland Days, some of thesekind of longstanding events that I think have been awarded in the past. And so, you know, wewere really pleased with that support and really appreciated it. [LB115]

SENATOR BOLZ: Great. Go ahead, Senator Vargas. [LB115]

SENATOR VARGAS: I wanted to thank you for coming. I think one thing that I took away fromthis is--less of a question, it's more of a thought--is while we're also thinking about tourism fromoutside the state, we are also thinking about tourism within our state, which means keepingtalent. It means improving the quality of life. We do have, I can't remember the percentage now,a large percentage of senators under the age of 40 actually, and for me I know that resonates withme continually improving the quality of life for some of our young, younger individuals inNebraska. So then they want to stay and invest, so we have some of this "intertourism." So thankyou. [LB115]

ANDREW NORMAN: Wonderful. Yeah, I appreciate that. I mean I can't tell you how frequentlyI see creative class members moving away and it really stinks. We need to do something to keepthem here and I think music festivals are one really great way to do that. [LB115]

SENATOR BOLZ: Thank you. [LB115]

ANDREW NORMAN: Thank you. [LB115]

SENATOR BOLZ: Do we have any other neutral testifiers? Jamison, do you have any closingcomments? [LB115]

JAMISON WYATT: Just I just checked the Revenue feed. Looks like Senator Harr is stillpreoccupied. So to try to maybe summarize some of his thoughts, I think it's clear that musicfestivals are growing in their attraction capacity, and so I think we just mainly want to emphasizethat this is maybe a good way to maybe focus some of our attention to help drive the economicengine when it comes to tourism, especially if there's concerns with some technical language,cleanup issues. I think Senator Harr would be more than willing to talk about those and he'd bewilling to, again, address some of those issues. And I think also Mr. Norman up here talkingabout the music festival activities that he's been part of across the entire state, I think we alsowould be willing to not be so specific with where we want these dollars to go to with themetropolitan-class city but I think we would be willing to broaden that scope as well. So I thinkwith that, I'll just leave it as is. And I can try to answer some questions if you have any, but.[LB115]

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SENATOR BOLZ: I do have just one clarification. [LB115]

JAMISON WYATT: Sure. [LB115]

SENATOR BOLZ: In drafting the bill, was it the intention that there would be a match requiredor was it the intention that there would be a contract and no match would be required? [LB115]

JAMISON WYATT: So the way it was written, it was just with that contract language. I don'teven think that matching requirement...I don't even think we really thought much about that.[LB115]

SENATOR BOLZ: Okay. [LB115]

JAMISON WYATT: So that's something that we may have overlooked, and I think we wouldagain be willing to address it, so. [LB115]

SENATOR BOLZ: Okay. Thank you. [LB115]

JAMISON WYATT: Okay? [LB115]

SENATOR BOLZ: Thanks for pinch-hitting. [LB115]

JAMISON WYATT: Thank you. [LB115]

SENATOR BOLZ: Okay. I think that closes the hearing on LB115 and we'll open the hearing onLB281, Senator Quick, to appropriate funds to the Nebraska Main Street Program. Welcome tothe Appropriations Committee, Senator Quick. [LB115 LB281]

SENATOR QUICK: (Exhibits 1, 2, and 3) Thank you, Vice Chair Bolz, and thank you,committee members. My name is Dan Quick. I'm from Grand Island, District 35. My name isspelled D-a-n Q-u-i-c-k. I still remember how to spell it. I'm here today to present before youLB281. LB281 will provide $100,000 in fiscal year 2017 and 2018, and $100,000 in fiscal year2018 and 2019 to support technical assistance in urban and rural downtown revitalization to allNebraska communities throughout...through the Nebraska Main Street Program. Theappropriation would be enhanced by the private funds provided by the Nebraska Main StreetNetwork. The Main Street Program uses a four-pronged approach that helps guide communitiesto reverse the cycle of disinvestment in their traditional downtown commercial districts, focusing

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on the physical, economic, organizational, and promotional activities in the downtown area. TheMain Street Program helps communities not only learn how to improve their downtownbuildings but also grows jobs and businesses. Communities also learn how to effectively managechange in their downtown for the long term. This return to vitality is important to increasingcommunity revenue and economic opportunities statewide. I know that Grand Island is a memberof the Main Street Program and they have also benefited from that program. The Nebraska MainStreet Network has an active board and you will hear from a representative of that board as wellas from one of the communities currently participating in the program. We are asking for thefunds to once again be placed with the Nebraska State Historical Society as the mission of MainStreet Program is directly related to their mission. There will be others behind me who will beable to answer maybe more specific questions, but I'm glad to answer any questions you mighthave at this time. [LB281]

SENATOR BOLZ: Very good. Thank you, Senator. Any questions for Senator Quick? Okay.[LB281]

SENATOR QUICK: All right. [LB281]

SENATOR BOLZ: Do we have any proponents for the bill? [LB281]

KEVIN ANDERSEN: Good afternoon and thank you very much. My name is Kevin Andersen,K-e-v-i-n A-n-d-e-r-s-e-n. I am here representing the Main Street Network Board of Directors. Iam also a city planner by trade with JEO Consulting Group out of our Omaha office. This is mysecond stint on the board of directors for Nebraska Main Street, the first being when I was arepresentative of the state Department of Economic Development. Among some of myresponsibilities were the direct administration of the Downtown Revitalization Program. Soreally, I'm here...you have the figures in front of you in terms of return on investment and wehave individuals here that will be able to speak to those numbers specifically. In my opinion, thenumbers speak for themselves so I want to talk a little bit about the technicalities of the programand the overall benefit to Nebraska communities and Main Street communities specifically.When you think of the term "downtown revitalization," in my experience, the reason it's such adaunting challenge and a difficult process for communities, large and small, to undertake isbecause it's not a singular investment of capital or funds or private equity, and it's not a processthat any single entity can take on by itself as a silo. It's a process that is cyclical, that involves thecontinual prioritization and reinvestment of funds, of capital, and of time and sweat equity intodowntown districts, into specific buildings and infrastructure serving those districts and thosecommunities. And it takes a collaborative process in public-private partnerships ofmunicipalities, of Main Street organizations, chambers of commerce, business owners, andproperty owners themselves. And I'm here to testify why Main Street helps facilitate that

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process. It's because of that four-point approach in terms of a comprehensive analysis and effortin terms of establishing public-private partnerships and prioritization of limited funding availableor limited investment opportunities into our downtown building stock, into our traditionalbusiness districts. And again, I just want to emphasize that Main Street is applicable tocommunities large and small. Whether it's a metropolitan-class specific business district or asmall, rural downtown district in communities. And Main Street, in its historic past, hasrepresented and worked with all districts of that nature. But Main Street is an important functionbecause it helps provide the level of technical assistance that it takes to facilitate and collaboratethe type of effort for a long-term and sustainable effort for downtown revitalization andreinvestment into our downtown districts. And it's an important concept to help facilitate thetypes of conversations required and needed to really build that local capacity and build thoselocal champions that can take on that effort on a collaborative process locally. So I guess, ifanything, in summary the Main Street Network helps to promote the level of self-help requiredto take on such a daunting and long-term process. Unlike other capital improvements incommunities across the state, it's not a one-and-done effort. It takes a continual and collaborativeprocess to really...and over a long period of time, to really reinforce and to justify that level ofinvestment and effort in downtown communities. So with that, I will kind of yield to othermembers of our board of directors, of our staff, and Main Street communities that can really helpspeak to, you know, how the process, how the program has assisted them. So I'd be happy to fieldany questions. [LB281]

SENATOR BOLZ: Very good. Do we have any questions? Okay. [LB281]

KEVIN ANDERSEN: Thank you. [LB281]

SENATOR BOLZ: Thank you. Any other proponents? [LB281]

JERRY JOHNSON: Thank you. [LB281]

SENATOR BOLZ: Welcome back, Senator. [LB281]

JERRY JOHNSON: Thank you, members of Appropriations Committee and Vice Chair. JerryJohnson, J-e-r-r-y J-o-h-n-s-o-n. I am a member of the Main Street state board. There is anational organization also that provides us feedback. But I was the one that, when I came in fouryears ago, introduced this legislation and there was some changes needed, the way the fundswere utilized through the system as far as accountability and getting more...a little bit more localsupport. And so at that point is when it changed from Department of Economic Development,Nebraska Arts Council, and when we connected with the State Historical Society. Our missionsrun parallel. It's been a good fit. The way those funds go, the money is...goes into their account

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and they go through their processes to monitor how the money is spent. They have their checksand balances. They take their 5 percent off the top in order to administer the...Bob Puschendorf,who just recently retired, is on our advisory board from the Historical Society, and he wasdoubly sure that what we were doing was what was the challenge for us. So we don't reach out toa lot of the large, you know, Omaha, Lincoln. Grand Island is probably our largest. We focusmore on rural communities, smaller communities that cannot maybe afford the...having a full-time staff for Main Street or for economic development for revitalization, so we kind of fill thatgap. One of the things that they asked us to do was to get some more...look at more funding andso we came up with the program. Now, you know, we talk about a cooperation co-op. This istruly a...the co-op program. As being involved in cooperatives in the past, I reached out tocooperatives, some of the larger ones that had a lot of small communities under their umbrella,as such. And the co-ops, we've only gone out to three of them because of our limited staff. Wehave a part-time executive director who will speak and so we can't...I can't go out to all of thembecause we'd be overloaded with our capability. But what they did, they invested money in MainStreet and as they have communities that are interested in participating in Main Street, we drawfrom those funds in order to pay those fees. So it's a good cooperation with them. It provides usaccess to some of those communities out there. So I think there's...right now there's 17 senatorsthat have a Main Street Program in their district and that works, you know, with Omaha andLincoln, take those out or you out, we have a pretty good representation across the state. MainStreet can take a different look in every community. Some of them look at downtown and emptybuildings revitalization. We have an architect firm that's on our board. We have a city planner,Kevin that was just here. We have an interior decorator. We have a retail person. I got on theboard because I definitely believe in rural Nebraska and I've lived in a lot of these towns, smallertowns, and to see what we could do there. I live in Wahoo, and Main Street for Wahoo is a littlebit different. We've named ours Access Wahoo. We've got an expressway going around town.We've got a new lake out north of town. We got to figure out how we can maintain Main Streetjust because we're being bypassed. But it also gives us access to the programs, the technicalassistance and training that's available through Main Street. About probably 40 percent of ourbudget goes for providing technical training, webinars, on-site training for our members that arein Main Street. So it is a well-rounded program. I got on the board because I believe that thesesmaller communities need to have access to this type of training and technical training. So I'mgetting close to my light so I'll wrap it up if there's any questions. [LB281]

SENATOR BOLZ: Thank you. Any questions for the senator? Oh, sorry, go ahead. [LB281]

SENATOR HILKEMANN: Senator, it's good to see you back here. [LB281]

JERRY JOHNSON: Thank you. [LB281]

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SENATOR HILKEMANN: This is a $100,000 appropriation that's being asked for. What's thetotal budget of Main Street? [LB281]

JERRY JOHNSON: About a hundred...with fees and that, it's probably $130,000, $140,000 total.The cities and the communities provide funds to become part of. We can't charge them a lotbecause it's small communities. A community, the highest I think is around $1,800 a year forthem, and the smallest for an entry, so everybody can get in, is $300. So we don't overchargethem. But...so most of it is the technical things that we pay for plus our administrator to go outand reach out to those people. [LB281]

SENATOR HILKEMANN: So this basic...this fund, this program is basically funded by the statethen. [LB281]

JERRY JOHNSON: A big percentage of it is and that's the same way it is in other states. This isnot new money. It's been...this program has been around 30 or 40 years,... [LB281]

SENATOR HILKEMANN: Right. [LB281]

JERRY JOHNSON: ...and we're not asking for any, you know, additional money. It is a stateprogram though. [LB281]

SENATOR CLEMENTS: Yeah, that was my question, if this is new or how long has this$100,000 been appropriated in the past. [LB281]

JERRY JOHNSON: I think it's...one year it was cut back and that was because of some issues of,as I related to a little bit, probably six, seven years ago some issues that thought was going tohappen and didn't. And so it was cut back some. But then, soon as we made those correctionsand got it into...not a discredit to DED but it was a better fit with the Historical Society, and thenit was...been fully funded since then. [LB281]

SENATOR CLEMENTS: Thank you. And one more, if I can remember what I was going to ask.Is this a matching grant type fund or how does it work? [LB281]

JERRY JOHNSON: No. No, we don't...this fund here, Main Street does not have money to giveto communities. We have...we can show them how to fill out the grants. We can help them getgrants. And so they do that on their own. [LB281]

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SENATOR CLEMENTS: Oh. [LB281]

JERRY JOHNSON: So, no, we don't have grant money available. The only grant money wouldbe granted from a parent co-op that would give money to Main Street in the form of a grant tothat community so they could participate. [LB281]

SENATOR CLEMENTS: Okay. [LB281]

JERRY JOHNSON: But that's all local money. [LB281]

SENATOR CLEMENTS: All right. Thank you. [LB281]

SENATOR BOLZ: This is a comment maybe, and maybe we can follow up after the mike butit...off the mike. But it seems like, because this has a track record and it is, while it's one-timeexpenditures, it's an ongoing initiative. It seems that maybe there would be a better way for us toset up the Main Street Program so that the request for appropriation wasn't required through abill every year. So maybe that's a follow-up question for us to work on later. [LB281]

JERRY JOHNSON: Well, it would definitely help because if we have inquiries, you know, theyknow it's an appropriation every year, and if there was a better way so we could have morecontinuity, I think we'd have a stronger program because there's fear of it going away. Yeah.[LB281]

SENATOR BOLZ: Sure. [LB281]

JERRY JOHNSON: We would appreciate that. (Laugh) [LB281]

SENATOR BOLZ: Yeah. Maybe some folks in the body can help us figure out the best strategyfor the program. [LB281]

JERRY JOHNSON: Thank you. [LB281]

SENATOR BOLZ: Okay. Thank you. [LB281]

JERRY JOHNSON: Okay. [LB281]

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SENATOR BOLZ: Any other proponents? [LB281]

MICHAEL SOTHAN: (Exhibit 4) Hello. My name is Michael Sothan, M-i-c-h-a-e-l S-o-t-h-a-n.I'm with Main Street Beatrice, one of our local Main Street communities here in the state ofNebraska. And as they said before, we are an independent nonprofit, Main Street Beatrice is.And so we have our own board of directors, our own budget, and mission, which is to serve thedowntown area of Beatrice. But like a lot of our other sister Main Street Programs here in thestate of Nebraska and also across the nation, you know, we definitely are working towardsmaking our communities a stronger place for really trying to encourage that sense of place,trying to help with the recruitment of young talent and everything back to our communities,really trying to help with business development and just a lot of other different things--increasingthe property values in our communities, increasing entrepreneurship, sales tax receipts. Thoseare all different parts of I guess kind of the end goal of our program. And bills like LB281certainly do help us with this mission of trying to see economic development, historicpreservation, community involvement in our communities, and especially in our downtowns, asthis does help, as I mentioned before, with very specific training, whether that's for entrepreneursthat are looking at getting started with a business to maybe with technical assistance onproperties and trying to increase the aesthetic appearance and the value of those properties, andjust a whole course of different things. A lot of it is very specific to each one of ourcommunities. Main Street Beatrice, we've got a downtown that serves 165 small businesses indowntown Beatrice, so we have a very large core of businesses there. We're probably the largestcollection of small businesses anywhere in southeast Nebraska, outside of Lincoln and Omaha,and we're just one of those. There's, I think, 23 different Main Street communities, as theymentioned, as large as Grand Island and as small as Taylor, Nebraska. And so for all of us, we'reall able to get together and really have been able to benefit from the assistance that bills likeLB281 here help us out with but also the additional assistance through the Nebraska Main StreetNetwork, the National Main Street Center, and our own efforts. It really does come together tomake a wonderful addition to our communities and I really do think it makes a terrific impact onboth rural and larger communities for small business development, historic preservation, justreally trying to keep our communities vibrant. So that's kind of one thing that I wanted to comehere today and just definitely express our appreciation for the appropriations in the past, as itcertainly has made a difference. I know last year downtown Beatrice was able to add a net of 13new businesses and so we were, you know, really seeing some great things happening, a lot ofyounger business owners who were really excited about the opportunities that we have downthere in Beatrice right now. And over the last 20 years--Main Street Beatrice has been in placefor about 20 years now--we've been able to see about $10 leveraged for every $1 that the MainStreet Program has put into our community. And a large amount of that $1 side is actually fromMain Street Beatrice, not through necessarily the National or Nebraska Main Street Program. Sowe definitely have seen a very good leverage for our return on our dollars. We are seeing greatthings happening in our downtown and I think many of the others across the nation certainly are

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as well. And so I do appreciate your guys' support in the past and again hope you will supportLB281. But I guess with that, I will open myself up to any of your questions. [LB281]

SENATOR BOLZ: Very good. Any questions? Thank you. [LB281]

MICHAEL SOTHAN: All right. Thank you again. [LB281]

ELIZABETH CHASE: Good afternoon, Vice Chairman Bolz and members of theAppropriations Committee. My name is Elizabeth Chase, E-l-i-z-a-b-e-t-h C-h-a-s-e. I'm theexecutive director of the Nebraska Main Street Network. I'm here to answer any questions youhave. I think the other speakers pretty much laid out the program and the successes that it's had. Isee it as an impact on local government revenue. The activities and actions that are taking placein these communities are having a positive impact, especially in these tough, tough economictimes. So with that, I won't take up any more of your time. Any other questions? [LB281]

SENATOR BOLZ: Seeing none, oh, seeing one. Go ahead. [LB281]

SENATOR HILKEMANN: You're up? Okay. You're the executive director. [LB281]

ELIZABETH CHASE: Correct. [LB281]

SENATOR HILKEMANN: Full-time position? [LB281]

ELIZABETH CHASE: Part-time position, three-quarters time. [LB281]

SENATOR HILKEMANN: Okay. And you're located where? [LB281]

ELIZABETH CHASE: We are here in Lincoln and we are located at the Southeast CommunityCollege Entrepreneurship Center, and so we partner with Southeast Community College todeliver a lot of our programming. [LB281]

SENATOR HILKEMANN: And then you make the decisions on the granting of (inaudible) thesedifferent programs? [LB281]

ELIZABETH CHASE: We don't grant any money to the programs, the local programsthemselves, but we provide technical assistance. So it's between the board and myself and our

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committees and subcommittees that make the decision on community needs and where we canaddress those needs. [LB281]

SENATOR HILKEMANN: How much money are you able to generate from the private sector tohelp support these Main Street Programs? [LB281]

ELIZABETH CHASE: From the private sector it's between $30,000 and $40,000 a year.[LB281]

SENATOR HILKEMANN: Total for all across the state. [LB281]

ELIZABETH CHASE: Uh-huh. [LB281]

SENATOR HILKEMANN: Okay. [LB281]

SENATOR VARGAS: Actually, my question is in the same area. For the $100,000 that'sappropriated, so obviously it's clear it's not used for directly giving to the city or the MainStreet,... [LB281]

ELIZABETH CHASE: Correct. [LB281]

SENATOR VARGAS: ...so where is that money going? What's the breakdown versus salary,operating costs? [LB281]

ELIZABETH CHASE: Yeah, it's the...a lot of that money is going towards the time and effortthat it takes to deliver those...that programming and those direct technical hands-on services tothe communities. [LB281]

SENATOR VARGAS: And who's...are you doing that (inaudible)? [LB281]

ELIZABETH CHASE: I'm doing some of that. We also have some consultants that have specifictechnical training. You know, they can provide certain areas of need for communities that wecan't provide in-house. These are folks from all over the country as well as inside Nebraska thatare able to deliver those to our communities. [LB281]

SENATOR VARGAS: So what percentage of this $100K goes to consultants, technicalassistance? [LB281]

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ELIZABETH CHASE: I would say maybe...well, not consultants but for the overallprogramming it's probably about 60 percent. [LB281]

SENATOR VARGAS: And then for consultants, people that are not... [LB281]

ELIZABETH CHASE: Consultants is probably a lot lower percentage. [LB281]

SENATOR VARGAS: And you said this is a volunteer board that is... [LB281]

ELIZABETH CHASE: We have an all-volunteer board, correct, and we also have an advisorycommittee made up of state agency folks from the Department of Economic Development,Nebraska State Historical Society, UNL College of Architecture, and the Nebraska Departmentof Roads. [LB281]

SENATOR VARGAS: That's great. Thank you very much. [LB281]

ELIZABETH CHASE: You're welcome. [LB281]

SENATOR BOLZ: Okay. Now seeing none, thank you very much. [LB281]

ELIZABETH CHASE: Great. Thank you. [LB281]

SENATOR BOLZ: Any further proponents? Do I have any opponents? Anyone in a neutralcapacity? Very good. That closes the hearing on LB281. Thank you, Senator Quick. Do you haveany...sorry. I'm sorry. Do you want a chance to close? [LB281]

SENATOR QUICK: I might just (inaudible). I know this program has benefited Grand Island. Iknow a lot of the downtown buildings, you know, there's been...over the years people have leftthem. They've been abandoned, more or less, and I think it's really helped revitalize some ofthose. They've actually renovated some of the buildings and putting apartments into them. Iknow the old Masonic Temple, it has retail on the bottom floor and now they're puttingapartments above it. And I think it's probably somewhat like what they've done in downtownLincoln, maybe in Omaha and some of those districts where old buildings are...and maybe theyhave some historic value. I know our old labor temple, they're putting apartments in there rightnow, working on that. So I just hope that maybe you'll consider supporting this bill and I'll leaveit at that. So thank you. [LB281]

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SENATOR BOLZ: Any final questions for Senator Quick? Okay. Now that closes the hearing onLB281. Our next hearing is LB379 which, again, is our friend Senator Harr, who may still be inRevenue. We'll stand at ease until...ah, there he is. Hi, Senator Harr. Good afternoon, SenatorHarr. [LB281 LB379]

SENATOR HARR: Thank you, Madam Vice Chair. My name is Burke Harr, H-a-r-r. I representLegislative District 8 which is parts of central Omaha. Sorry I missed my earlier one because Iwas in Revenue. I just got done with the hearing. I am here now on LB379, which creates theWilla Cather Historical Building Cash Fund and provides for a transfer of funds. As many of youare aware, we in this great state just celebrated our sesquicentennial. And as a result, the JournalStar did a list of most prominent Nebraskans. And lo and behold, Willa Cather was named themost notable Nebraskan. The centurion of the publication of her book My Antonia will becelebrated next year as well. And I think it's vital that we invest in our literary history, especiallyliterary history of this notable Nebraskan, Willa Cather. LB379 creates a cash fund to preserveand restore two particular properties in Red Cloud, the Cather childhood home and the Antoniafarmstead which was featured significantly if anyone saw the movie My Antonia. The propertiesare owned by the Historical Society and managed by the Willa Cather Foundation. LB379transfers $300,000 from the State Visitors Promotion Cash Fund into the Willa Cather HistoricalBuilding Cash Fund. Red Cloud, of course, is an important tourist destination in south-centralNebraska. There is a matching requirement in LB379 so that we can have public-privatepartnership. It requires nonstate funds or private funds be used before the funds in the CatherCash Fund can be expended. I'm not trying to bypass the tourism process here. It's just that whiletourism grants...we say, hey, they can be granted for anything. We give them broad discretion.When you apply for the grant itself, they want it for marketing and for certain (inaudible), butthey don't want it for capital expenses. And so it's kind of putting the cart before the horse. Youcan't promote something if it's...or you shouldn't promote something if it's in shoddy shape. Sowhat we're looking to is how can we take something and incentivize so that it is a tourist-worthyproperty that our State Historical Society owns at this point? And maybe we decide to sell itback to the foundation, but that's for another day. But how do we do that so that we can promotethis so that we can have more fairs, so that we can have more events down there, Willa Catherreadings? This is a destination. It is something we should be very proud of, and it's something weshould preserve. And this is a way we can do it. It's a, as I say, it's a public-private partnership.Miss Ashley Olson from the...the executive director of the Willa Cather Foundation will followand will be able to answer specific questions related to details of the property itself. But withthat, I would entertain any questions you may have. [LB379]

SENATOR BOLZ: Any questions for Senator Harr? [LB379]

SENATOR HARR: Thank you. [LB379]

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SENATOR BOLZ: Any proponents for the legislation? [LB379]

ASHLEY OLSON: (Exhibit 1) Good afternoon, Vice Chair Bolz and members of theAppropriations Committee. My name is Ashley Olson, A-s-h-l-e-y O-l-s-o-n, executive directorof the Cather Foundation, and I'm here today in support of LB379. In the last nine years, I'vebeen fortunate to meet hundreds of people from across the globe who travel to Nebraska solelyto visit the Cather state historic sites in Red Cloud and Webster County. On average, wewelcome visitors from 40 states and 5 countries on an annual basis. By strengthening the tourismassets and amenities in Red Cloud through a collaborative partnership currently beingimplemented, the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship has estimated growth of our tourismindustry in Webster County will generate 77 new jobs, $3.5 million in total visitor spending, and$5.8 million in economic impact. Development of the Cather historic sites is an integral part ofmoving forward with this valuable initiative. The Cather Foundation is a nonprofit organizationdedicated to promoting Cather's legacy through education, preservation, and the arts. The Catherstate historic sites are comprised of six buildings that were acquired and fully restored by theCather Foundation beginning in 1955 and gifted to the Historical Society in 1978. Following thisproperty transfer, our organization shifted focus toward expanding our educational programmingand other endeavors, while the Historical Society established a presence in Red Cloud to operatethe Cather historic sites. By 1994, our organizations entered into an agreement whereby theCather Foundation assumed management and operation of the historic sites. This partnership hasbeen greatly beneficial to our organizations and to the operation of the sites. Over the years, theHistorical Society has been able to access funds from the state of Nebraska's 309 Task Force tocomplete roofing projects and other improvements required to protect these sites from the naturalelements. For an annual management fee, the Cather Foundation conducts routine maintenance,pays ongoing operational expenses, manages museum and archival collections, and employs staffto care for the properties and provide guided tours. While this management allocation wasinitially set as high as $98,000 annually, recurring budget cuts to the Historical Society, whichyou heard about earlier, have resulted in a current management allocation to the CatherFoundation of $75,000 annually toward actual operational costs of approximately $135,000.While this annual shortfall has always posed a challenge, so far we've been able to cover thedeficit with other funds and without an additional burden to the budget of the Historical Societyor the state of Nebraska. Having provided context and background regarding ownership andmanagement, I'd like to address LB379 and what it would enable us to do. As you know, the billproposes to create the Willa Cather Historical Building Cash Fund for the purpose of restoringthe Cather House and the Antonia farmstead. Year after year, these two properties in particularspeak with special power to our visitors and pull them into Cather's life and work. The CatherHouse is 1 of only 20 national historic landmarks in Nebraska. Willa Cather lived in this houseduring a time that later proved to be critical in her development as a writer; and it figuresprominently in her novels and stories, making the house the most important Nebraska buildingassociated with her life and literary career. Restoration was initially completed by the Cather

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Foundation in 1967; and despite occasional improvements since then, time has inevitably taken atoll on this beloved Nebraska treasure. Perhaps most importantly, and very unfortunately, theevocative wallpaper that Cather chose and hung herself in her attic bedroom is in perilouscondition--discoloring, detaching from the wall, and visibly deteriorating with the passing ofeach year. A 2001 historic structure report outlines recommendations for a complete restorationof the house. The estimated cost after adjusting for inflation and incorporating a conservativeestimate for developing design and construction documents is $355,000. The Antonia farmsteadwas the home of John and Annie Pavelka and their family. It provided the setting for a largeportion of Cather's most famous work, My Antonia. Annie Pavelka was the prototype for theheroine of the novel and the site's significance to Czech-American cultural heritage isconsiderably enhanced through Cather's use of the site in her writings. While considerableimprovements have been made to keep the home watertight and in good repair, its interior hasdeclined to the point that regular tours are no longer provided and there is currently nomeaningful interpretation or historical markers on the property to indicate its significance. Whilethe site itself is located in greater Webster County, its country setting is the impelling motivationto visiting the site, especially to out-of-state or international visitors. A 2007 study estimatedrestoration would cost $265,000 after adjusting for inflation and incorporating an estimate todevelop design and construction documents. Over the course of many years, major restoration ofthese historic properties has been deferred due to funding limitations and other crucial projectstaking precedent. While both of these buildings have been on our minds for years, other moreimmediate priorities have prevented us from moving ahead with capital improvements, as has thefact that restoration costs will run very high. While we understand the challenges theAppropriations Committee and the Nebraska Legislature are facing as a result of the state budgetdeficit, we encourage you to advance LB379 for the following reasons. First, having recentlycompleted a large fund-raising effort to create the National Willa Cather Center, the CatherFoundation is willing to meet the significant fund-raising obligation imposed by the terms of thebill, meaning an initial pledge of state resources would serve as a catalyst for additional privateinvestment. Second, the historic sites are without question some of Nebraska's most importantcultural and historic assets. As current stewards of these special places, it's essential that we doall we can to preserve and interpret them for future generations of readers, students, scholars,and tourists. Third, the proposed cash transfer may be the most viable method toward fundingpreservation of these sites, as grant programs offered by the Tourism Commission are currentlylimited to marketing of events and attractions. While these are valuable programs that we've beenfortunate to utilize in the past, they do not offer assistance with the improvement of existingattractions, meaning we are unable to pursue funding for this particular endeavor. Furthermore,we've learned over the years that it is very difficult to raise funds from private sources for state-owned properties without matching funds from the state of Nebraska. And finally, Cather iswidely recognized as one of the greatest American writers. Her beloved novel, My Antonia,celebrates its 100th publication anniversary in 2018 and was recently paired with F. ScottFitzgerald's The Great Gatsby as one of the greatest novels of the twentieth century. This

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important publication anniversary will no doubt bring additional visitors to the sites next year. Itwould be especially meaningful for interpretive improvements at the farmstead to be made bythis time and for larger preservation efforts of both properties to be planned or set in motion. Weask for your support as we strive to work alongside the Historical Society and other partners toensure that visitors have a unique and meaningful experience when they arrive in Nebraska totake in the largest collection of nationally designated historic sites dedicated to an author. Thankyou. [LB379]

SENATOR BOLZ: Thank you. Any questions from the committee? [LB379]

SENATOR WISHART: Can you talk to us a little...first of all, thank you for being here. Can youtalk to us a little bit about what are the costs that we will incur if we don't do these renovationsand preservations? I mean, do we, as we continue to let a building deteriorate, what are thecontinued costs that we will see? [LB379]

ASHLEY OLSON: Well, I think it's hard to speculate on that. I look at it from an economicdevelopment perspective as much as anything. The numbers I spoke to early in my testimonyabout the potential economic impact of continued development I think is what we're giving up bynot investing in these attractions and making them available to people. [LB379]

SENATOR BOLZ: Go ahead, Senator. [LB379]

SENATOR CLEMENTS: Oh, go ahead. [LB379]

SENATOR BOLZ: Go ahead of him. [LB379]

SENATOR CLEMENTS: I have a few questions. [LB379]

SENATOR BOLZ: Go ahead. Okay, whoever wants to go first. [LB379]

SENATOR CLEMENTS: I'll go ahead. Hello. For some of you, we have met recently and I amfrom Elmwood, Nebraska, and I'm president of the Bess Streeter Aldrich Foundation, which isanother author in the Nebraska Hall of Fame. I was wondering, the $55,238, is this a new type ofexpense or do you know if the Legislature has done this in the past? [LB379]

ASHLEY OLSON: I'm not familiar with the $55,238. I think it may be a fiscal note attached tothis bill. [LB379]

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SENATOR CLEMENTS: Oh, yeah, it's in the fiscal note. Do you know what that might be usedfor? [LB379]

ASHLEY OLSON: I do not. (Inaudible). [LB379]

SENATOR CLEMENTS: Okay, I'll have to ask the Fiscal Office. [LB379]

ASHLEY OLSON: Sure. [LB379]

SENATOR CLEMENTS: I think you've outlined generally the restorations that are being done.And I was just noting in your financial summary cash and investments of $3,798,000. Is it notpossible to use some of those funds? [LB379]

ASHLEY OLSON: Those funds are permanently endowed for the operation of the CatherFoundation. So what they aid us to do is employ our staff and put on our programs that we haveon an annual basis. They also help us subsidize the deficit that I spoke to earlier, the fundingdeficit between the actual costs of keeping these properties open and maintaining them andpaying the operational expenses on a regular basis. [LB379]

SENATOR CLEMENTS: So they're not spendable money, just the income from those isspendable. Is that right? [LB379]

ASHLEY OLSON: That's correct. The income is about $60,000 a year. [LB379]

SENATOR CLEMENTS: Have you spoken with the Historical Society about acquiring thesebuildings back into the foundation from the state? [LB379]

ASHLEY OLSON: That has been a topic that's come up recently. It's a conversation we lookforward to continuing. I think it's probably something that would over the long term beadvantageous to both the state of Nebraska, the Historical Society, as well as the CatherFoundation. What we will have to navigate is how we make that financially feasible for theFoundation to do that. We would like to be in a position to accept responsibility for caring forthese sites over the long term, but we also need to make strategic decisions about what thatmeans for our long-term financial obligations. [LB379]

SENATOR CLEMENTS: Yeah. I'd only comment that if you did that, that would eliminate theneed for this appropriation. That's all I have. [LB379]

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SENATOR HILKEMANN: Yeah, I think that, Senator, you've already kind of touched uponwhat I was looking at (inaudible). I see your assets here. If I understand you correctly, yourconcern is that you're part of the Historical Society. Is that correct? [LB379]

ASHLEY OLSON: We... [LB379]

SENATOR HILKEMANN: You're owned by them. [LB379]

ASHLEY OLSON: The buildings themselves are owned by the Historical Society, yes. We are aprivate foundation that works alongside the Historical Society to manage those assets. [LB379]

SENATOR HILKEMANN: So all right. Okay. Okay, I get it. [LB379]

SENATOR VARGAS: So this is just, from my understanding, so this fiscal note, theseexpenditures are based, since it is owned by the Historical Society, buildings, (inaudible)requiring additional staff, certain amount FTE to be able to do some of this work or upkeep.[LB379]

ASHLEY OLSON: That would be my assumption. I think that they could probably...I shouldn'tspeak on their behalf. [LB379]

SENATOR VARGAS: Okay. [LB379]

SENATOR CLEMENTS: I think we should ask the fiscal analyst to explain. Were you involvedin setting this number? [LB379]

SCOTT DANIGOLE: The $55,000 number? [LB379]

SENATOR BOLZ: I think we can certainly ask the fiscal...is that protocol? Do we do this inhearings? [LB379]

SCOTT DANIGOLE: Typically, fiscal analysts don't testify. [LB379]

SENATOR BOLZ: Maybe that's a question for the posthearing deliberations... [LB379]

SENATOR CLEMENTS: Okay, excuse me. [LB379]

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SENATOR BOLZ: ...if the committee members would be so inclined to hold those questions. Dowe have any further questions for the testifier? Okay. Thank you very much. [LB379]

ASHLEY OLSON: Thank you. [LB379]

SENATOR BOLZ: Our next proponent, please. [LB379]

ANDREW JEWELL: (Exhibit 2) Hello. Thank you for having me. I'm Andrew Jewell, A-n-d-r-e-w J-e-w-e-l-l, and I am here in support of LB379. I'm a professor at the University ofNebraska-Lincoln and a Cather scholar, and my profession has given me the good fortune towitness the value of Willa Cather's life and work to readers around the world. Many of us knowher value to the history of this state, and just last week, as was mentioned, the Lincoln JournalStar listed her as the number one "Notable Nebraskan" in our 150-year history. But she is alsowidely admired as one of the greatest literary artists in the history of our country and is thewinner of the Pulitzer Prize and many other awards. Her works have been translated into over 40languages, and students of the English language in France are currently studying her novel MyAntonia as part of their curriculum. Perhaps even more importantly, her novels have never goneout of print since they were first published nearly a century ago, and her works continue to beread and cherished by everyday people. She represents our state and its culture and history topeople all over the world, and many of them decide, after experiencing Nebraska through herworks, that they want to come here and see it for themselves. Thanks to the decades-long effortof the Cather Foundation and the Nebraska State Historical Society, we are extremely lucky tohave something unique and powerful for people to see when they come to Nebraska to betterunderstand the works of Willa Cather. The Cather historical properties are among the mostimportant literary landmarks in the nation. Though the Cather childhood home and the Pavelkafarmstead are important because of their historical association with Cather's family and friends,their real power on visitors often comes from the remarkable connection to her art. When I firststepped into Cather's childhood home 17 years ago, I had an experience I'd never had before: Ifelt like I was walking into a story. Cather took her memories of her childhood home and theAntonia farmstead and converted those memories into literature. Students and readers are able tounderstand her work in a different and better way when they can walk into the places she wroteabout. I, like so many others, keep coming back to Red Cloud again and again for the uniqueexperience it can offer. As a member of the Cather Foundation Board of Governors, a scholar,and a teacher, I've seen what these Cather historical properties mean to people and how theymotivate people to come to south-central Nebraska. I am also aware that the properties are in realneed of renovation, of preservation, and of improved interpretation. As we prepare for theopening of the National Willa Cather Center and the statewide celebrations honoring the 100thanniversary of My Antonia in 2018, the time is right to invest in the preservation of these historicproperties. These transferred funds will provide needed resources and the leverage to raisematching private donations and, together, Nebraskans can preserve these properties and all they

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mean to the history and culture of our great state. Thank you very much. Any questions?[LB379]

SENATOR KUEHN: Just as a comment: Good to see you, Dr. Jewell,... [LB379]

ANDREW JEWELL: Good to see you. [LB379]

SENATOR KUEHN: ...a proud Hastings College alumni. [LB379]

ANDREW JEWELL: That's right. Go Bronco. [LB379]

SENATOR KUEHN: I do have one quick question for you, though, in terms of the...as someonewho is a scholar, both a literary and historical side with these facilities. Obviously, we heardfrom Ms. Olson regarding the operation side of it. And just to kind of address the issue of the$55,000, talk to me about what you foresee as a scholar in terms of the magnitude of therestoration project of these two properties. [LB379]

ANDREW JEWELL: There are...the preservation is really important, right? Already theseproperties have remarkable meaning for readers and people interested in Cather and her legacyand work. But there is a lot of opportunity for increased interpretation as well to enhance thatmeaning for new visitors to the site. There are a lot of ideas out there floating around and weneed the resources in order to make them happen. But there's no quite experience like it. I mean,you can read all sorts of things and be moved by that literature; but then to step into those placesthat were only in that literature and to understand the layout of the space in which the story tookplace and to see how people were interacting, it's a kind of experience that only embodying thatspace can make happen. And we need to save these places in order to make that continue tohappen into the future. [LB379]

SENATOR KUEHN: And I don't know if you've had a chance to see or look at the fiscal note...[LB379]

ANDREW JEWELL: I haven't. [LB379]

SENATOR KUEHN: ...but one of the questions that Senator Clements was asking earlier, theHistorical Society is saying they need a quarter of an FTE maintenance manager and a third ofan FTE maintenance specialist to supervise the historical renovation. And I'm looking at thatthinking supervision, and I'm doing math thinking that's like 12.5 weeks for a supervisor and,you know, more than that for a specialist. Is...really? I mean is that what? [LB379]

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ANDREW JEWELL: It's...I can't speak to that fiscal note. I'm only hearing about it now. But Iwill say that it's a big job ahead of us, you know, to do that work. And I can't really speak tothose numbers and wouldn't want to try to do that. [LB379]

SENATOR KUEHN: Okay. Something I think we need to look into a little bit more, so Iappreciate that. Thank you. [LB379]

ANDREW JEWELL: Sure. [LB379]

SENATOR BOLZ: Thank you. [LB379]

ANDREW JEWELL: Thank you. [LB379]

CHARLES JOHANNINGSMEIER: (Exhibit 3) Good afternoon, Vice Chair Bolz and othermembers of the Appropriations Committee. My name is Charles Johanningsmeier, C-h-a-r-l-e-sJ-o-h-a-n-n-i-n-g-s-m-e-i-e-r, and I'm here to speak in support of LB379. I am a professor ofAmerican Literature at UNO. I'm not speaking on their behalf at all today, but I am speaking asan educator. I have been a professor of American Literature at UNO for 18 years. And I havespent a great deal of my time promoting Willa Cather and her works among an ever-wideningrange of constituencies, mainly because I know that she is one of the most important Americanwriters of the twentieth century, and someone I and all other Nebraskans can be justly proud of.In fact, it was in large part because I knew of her significance that I wrote to Senator Harr lastJune asking him if he knew of any way to support desperately needed renovations to the Catherchildhood home and the Pavelka farm. And in fact one of my field trips I had taken my UNOstudents down there; and because of the poor condition of the Pavelka farm, they could not goinside and they also could not go down in the root cellar. And if you've ever read the novel, it's avery important part of the novel. The steps were in poor condition and unsafe so I wrote toSenator Harr. My promotion of Willa Cather has taken many forms. For instance, I have taughtsessions in Red Cloud of a program called Road Scholars, and that's a program where sizablegroups of people from all over the country actually come to pay and stay for a week in RedCloud and hear from scholars and staff members of the foundation about an author they haveheard of and admired for a long time and, of course, visit all the historical sites there. Andthrough my work at UNO, of course, I have had many more opportunities to promote Cather, herworks, and visits to Red Cloud. For instance, I encourage all my secondary education majorswho are earning endorsem*nts in English and language arts to someday teach one or more ofCather's excellent short stories and novels. And as the dual enrollment coordinator for theEnglish department, I do the same with dozens of current high school teachers, both in themetropolitan Omaha area and throughout the state. And finally, I teach one of the most populargraduate seminars we offer at UNO, which is exclusively devoted to Willa Cather's life and

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literature. Each time I teach this course, the highlight is definitely our trip to Red Cloud, either asa very long day trip--it's 3.5 hours each way from Omaha--or as an overnight, during which weget to stay in the second home of Cather's parents as well as in other historic buildings such asthe Burlington depot. As an educator, I can tell you that Red Cloud and its vicinity constitutesone of the most unique literary heritage sites in the country, a place where there are enoughoriginal buildings left from when Cather lived there to make students feel as if they can vividlyenvision particular scenes from her fictions and better understand what she was trying to sayabout growing up in a small Nebraska town. Students, I can tell you, are overwhelminglypositive about these trips. Touring the Cather childhood home, the Pavelka farm, even justgetting to stand outside and see what Annie Pavelka would have seen, Antonia, and all theseother sites throughout Webster County makes her literary works come alive for them in a waythey can't get just from reading these works. One of my graduate students, in fact, fromBridgeport was so moved by her experience during this trip that about two years after her visitshe named her first child Willa. Now that, I think, is impact of a field trip. But the mostcompelling reason I can think of to support this bill comes from a very bright high school juniorfrom Lexington I've met named Julia Briones-Avila, who, as a result of my suggestion that shetry reading something by Cather, wrote to me last fall: "I read two of Willa Cather's novels thissummer, My Antonia and One of Ours. They were compelling, utterly amazing. My favorite hasto be My Antonia, and I think it is because it is meticulously interwoven with the Americandream. As a first generation Mexican-American, that is something I've grown up talking about,living, and striving to achieve, so I was able to make a strong text-to-self connection throughoutthe entire novel." It is especially for just such young people, I believe, that we need to committhe resources necessary to make sure that we preserve our Nebraska historical heritage. If wewant future generations of Nebraskans to feel proud of their state, its history, and its earlyimmigrants and to see it as a place they want to stay in to live, work, and raise families, wesimply must properly maintain sites such as Cather's childhood home and the Pavelka farm forthem to visit and to learn from. I, thus, strongly encourage you to support LB379. I know forcertain that if you do, thousands of people here in Nebraska, as well as from around the countryand from around the world, will thank you for it. And I thank you for it. [LB379]

SENATOR STINNER: Thank you. Any questions? Seeing none, thank you very much. [LB379]

CHARLES JOHANNINGSMEIER: Okay. Thank you. [LB379]

SENATOR STINNER: Additional proponents. Any additional proponents? Seeing none, anyopponents? [LB379]

ANDY POLLOCK: Chairman Stinner, again my name is Andy Pollock, A-n-d-y P-o-l-l-o-c-k. Iam a registered lobbyist appearing today on behalf of the Nebraska Travel Association. And I'm

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here on another bill that I'd love to be supporting but out of matter of principle just cannot. TheTravel Association opposes LB379 and asks you not to advance it, not because we don't believeheartily in the importance of Willa Cather and literature to Nebraska to attracting people fromout of state and from within the state, but because this just isn't the right means to do it. I wouldsay that I'd like to commend Senator Harr for introducing this bill for starting an importantconversation. I happen to be a fan of Willa Cather as well, as well as Bess Streeter Aldrich; beento Red Cloud to visit the facilities; can attest to the fact that there are improvements that need tobe made. But again, this is not the right vehicle for doing so. I want to just briefly talk about thatand talk for a minute about the bigger picture as well. It's our belief that the grant program inplace at the Nebraska Tourism Commission is working, might work better--and I'll talk aboutthat in a minute more--but that this is a bypass of that system and in effect would put theLegislature in the place of the Nebraska Tourism Commission. We have a commission, we havea grant program, and we ought to respect and let that program work. I want to talk about thatprogram a little bit, though. And it would address some of the questions, Senator Vargas, thatyou asked on LB115. And I won't get into depth, but I have not been a defender of the TourismCommission's grant program in the past in terms of the actual administration of that program;sent a letter to the commission last April, I think shortly after the Legislature adjourned butshortly before the audit report was released, and asked the commission strongly in specific termsto move forward with a rule and regulation making for purposes of fleshing out their grantprogram. I've had conversations with Senator Stinner about this, with Jeanne Glenn about this.There is some work that needs to be done to make sure that the grant program is meeting theneeds and the priorities of communities all across the state, including Red Cloud. Thecommission shortly thereafter was hit with the audit. They've been scrambling to pick up thepieces. We talked about that a little bit during their budget. I think they made great strides. Justrecently, I would say in the last couple weeks, they issued a first draft of rules and regulations.It's not one that's been formally noticed yet, but they've invited the industry. I think to their creditthey've invited the industry to weigh in. And I think those rules and regs would be another wayto further the conversation that Senator Harr has begun here. I would respectfully ask thecommittee not to advance this bill but to keep their eyes and ears open for what happens withthat grant process. And we will certainly be involved in that process, in the grant rule and regprocess I should say. With that, I'd conclude. [LB379]

SENATOR STINNER: Any questions? Seeing none, thank you. [LB379]

ANDY POLLOCK: Thank you. [LB379]

SENATOR STINNER: Any additional opponents? [LB379]

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JOHN RICKS: (Exhibit 4) Good afternoon, again. John Ricks, R-i-c-k-s, new executive directorof the Nebraska Tourism Commission. Tourism is a hot topic today. I like that. Especially beingin a new position, there's a lot of interest and a lot of different programs. And I think that fromyour standpoint you can see the diversity of interests and everything else that are related totourism and that's exciting. There will be, I'll call them arm-wrestling matches that we may have,we'll figure this all out because it is a high-interest industry and obviously good reason why it'sthe third largest industry in the state. Obviously, the Tourism Commission respects and supportsefforts to protect and preserve historic building sites across the state and the legacy of greatauthors and great people throughout Nebraska. I'm here today to oppose LB379 relating to thetransfer of that money from the Promotion Fund to the Historical Building Cash Fund. I have notmet Senator Harr yet and I agree with him that...and I mentioned it before that the monies instate-level tourism offices have for years been dedicated to marketing and promotion. That's justthe way it's been. I mentioned also before that there has been some movement, even thoughlimited--the state of Oregon has had some work in it--that is starting to work within the brick andmortar arena. But understand this industry has worked for the 30 years I've been in it just to gainrecognition for being an economic driver at all. And only in the last decade has it really started togain traction. And in this case, my understanding is under statute that I've read, the State VisitorsPromotion Cash Fund was created and "The commission shall use the proceeds of the fund togenerally promote, encourage, and attract visitors to and within the State of Nebraska."Therefore, the charge of the commission is to market the state as a tourism destination. Andgetting involved at this time in any kind of bricks and mortar is beyond the scope of thecommission and the Visitors Promotion Fund. So with that, I'd be happy to try to answer anyquestions that you may have. [LB379]

SENATOR STINNER: Any questions? Seeing none, thank you. [LB379]

JOHN RICKS: All right. Thank you very much. [LB379]

SENATOR STINNER: Any additional people in the opposition? Seeing none, anybody in theneutral capacity? [LB379]

TREVOR JONES: Hello. Trevor Jones, T-r-e-v-o-r J-o-n-e-s, director and CEO of the NebraskaState Historical Society. I thought I would come in, in a neutral capacity and answer anyquestions on the fiscal note that was raised earlier. So we put in a fiscal note because as long asthis is a state property we have to abide by state rules and regulations in terms of how thisproposed project would be bid and reviewed and make sure that the oversight was there on ourend. As Ms. Olson said, the Cather childhood home is a national historic landmark which puts itat the very top for historic status in the United States so there are a lot of oversight that wouldhave to be done for a project of that scope. The other piece that we would have to work on with

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that project is we also have historic collections that are in the building that would have to besecured and overseen during the construction process. And so having a site that's, you know,several miles, several hours away from my staff here in Lincoln would require, you know,significant investment of our time and resources to make sure the project was done correctly andin accordance with state law. [LB379]

SENATOR STINNER: Thank you. Questions? Senator Kuehn. [LB379]

SENATOR KUEHN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I guess I want to follow up on that because thisis, I guess, part of my concern is we're looking at two buildings which were given to the state, Ithink, in trust and care to maintain, preserve, and protect. That obligation was not followedthrough. They've fallen into disrepair, and I realize that's not under your watch. The foundation isnow looking for alternative funding sources outside of the Historical Society--whether theTourism Commission fund is the right source or not--and matching that with private funds thatthey look at and manage. They are, for all intents and purposes, acting under contract as thecustodians of these properties. And we're looking at hitting them 55 grand for six-tenths FTE.And I understand the supervision and all of that. My concern is, just in terms of a broadermanagement of the Historical Society, it seems to me that this is an opportunity to look at howwe preserve and protect these buildings, whether that is contracting with individuals on-site whocan do that supervision or, you know, given our revenue situation, you know, a $55,000 fiscalnote is a big deal for us this session. But it seems to me as I look at it that that is...I think it'sunreasonable given that these are Historical Society owned buildings that the Cather Foundationis looking at alternative revenue sources that do not come out of Historical Society's budget andinvesting the time and resources to preserve. So not so much as a question as maybe a commentthat whatever the fate of this particular piece of legislation is I would certainly like to see theHistorical Society maybe with some more creative, innovative thinking about how they canpartner with some of their custodial organizations like the Cather (inaudible) Foundation toensure that this kind of renovation can occur in a cost-effective manner while still preserving thehistorical integrity. Here endeth my lesson. [LB379]

SENATOR STINNER: Senator Bolz. [LB379]

SENATOR BOLZ: I...just a quick question regarding the fiscal note. I understand that some ofthe fiscal note is related to the transition and the bidding process. How much of the fiscal notewould be ongoing operating, if any? [LB379]

TREVOR JONES: None. [LB379]

SENATOR BOLZ: Okay. [LB379]

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TREVOR JONES: Without a full project scope, we don't know what the additional operatingcosts would be for the long term for this project, but I would say that that is a concern for us. Forexample, the Pavelka house right now doesn't have any water or power or anything. So if thosethings were being added to it, those would be additional ongoing expenses that we have not yetcalculated. [LB379]

SENATOR BOLZ: So I could think of this in three pieces: the request of $300,000 for theproperty; the $55,000 for the bidding and the transition; and then you would expect an additionalcost in terms of ongoing operations even though that remains undefined? [LB379]

TREVOR JONES: Correct. [LB379]

SENATOR BOLZ: Okay. Thank you. [LB379]

SENATOR STINNER: Any additional questions? Senator Clements. [LB379]

SENATOR CLEMENTS: The $300,000 Willa Cather Historical Building Cash Fund, is this anew fund or has it been done before? [LB379]

TREVOR JONES: Senator, I've only been here seven months so I can't tell you if there's ahistorical precedent, but I do not believe there is one. [LB379]

SENATOR CLEMENTS: Okay. Do you know of any other buildings that have a cash fund ofthat sort? [LB379]

TREVOR JONES: We do not have any other buildings that have a cash fund. [LB379]

SENATOR CLEMENTS: Is the Historical Society wanting to acquire any other Catherbuildings? [LB379]

TREVOR JONES: No. [LB379]

SENATOR CLEMENTS: Well, I know I said earlier I happen to be president of the Bess StreeterAldrich Foundation who has a similar house in Elmwood. And I was just wondering if you wereinterested in acquiring that building. (Laughter) [LB379]

SENATOR HILKEMANN: (Inaudible). [LB379]

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TREVOR JONES: Senator, we operate, you know, we have almost 30 buildings all the wayacross the state, historic buildings; and maintaining and keeping them up is a massive strugglefor us. So unless you've got a great fat endowment that comes with it, we're not interested.[LB379]

SENATOR CLEMENTS: And then I wanted to know if the Society has considered transferringthese two houses back to the Cather Foundation. [LB379]

TREVOR JONES: Yes. I think that these are discussions that we need to have that are ongoingand, quite honestly, not just with this site because this is a small portion of what we do. Weoperate seven historic sites throughout the state. And I think we need to look more holisticallyand also strategically about where the state's investment is best spent with those facilities andwith those individual buildings and how we can do a better job thinking about what the productmix basically is for those areas. [LB379]

SENATOR CLEMENTS: All right. Thank you. [LB379]

TREVOR JONES: You're welcome. [LB379]

SENATOR STINNER: Thank you. Any additional questions? Seeing none, thank you. Anyadditional testifiers in the neutral capacity? Seeing none, would you like to close, Senator?[LB379]

SENATOR HARR: (Exhibit 5) Please. And thank you, Chairman Stinner, members of theAppropriations Committee. Let me first start off by talking about this is not Mari Sandoz. This isWilla Cather, okay, (laughter) a prominent author. Sorry, he's on a foundation. You know, thisisn't Bess Streeter Aldrich's house. This is not livable in. You would not have wanted to spendyour youth in this home, okay? This is not habitable let alone museum quality. And this is themost notable citizen in the state of Nebraska and it's in disrepair. You heard the head of theHistorical Society say, well, if you guys fix it, then we got to take care of it. Well, that's a cost.That tells you what kind of state it's in. Right? You have...and I'm going to complain about fiscalnotes again. This fiscal note and the purpose of fiscal notes is to say what the cost is, okay?Period. We have an analysis done by the Nebraska Tourism Commission and it says where thismoney is going to come from. Quite frankly, irrelevant. That's not the purpose of a fiscal note.I'm glad he came in and testified where the money is coming from, but that's not the purpose of afiscal note. You want to come and talk about that, come and talk about it. And then to have it beput in our official fiscal note, again, not the purpose of a fiscal note. It's to tell us what the cost isso that you guys can figure out, and other committees, the cost. Okay. I've just...we've gotten alittle lax here on what fiscal notes are and how they're supposed to operate. I heard this is not the

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right vehicle to do it. Well, find me another vehicle. I kept looking for another vehicle. And sowhat do we have? We have the Tourism Commission come in and say, hey, we still want yourmoney. Okay? Don't get me wrong, we want your money. We just don't want you to tell us howto spend your money. All right. We cool with that? All right, then I'm done with my testimony.That's not the purpose. Appropriations is here to tell us how to spend our money. This is thetaxpayers' money. This is the state's money. This is not the Tourism money. You are the ones whowere elected to decide how to spend this money. This is something of not just state, this isnational historic. This is one of, as you heard, one of our best authors of the twentieth century. Ican't imagine another state letting an author at that level home going into disrepair. I think it'sincumbent upon us to find a way. You know, we have a Historical Society who owns the propertywho has not taken care of it. You have an outside foundation willing to come in. I always hearabout how great public-private partnerships are and we need to encourage them. Here is a public-private partnership. They're willing to come in and take over this property and to makesure...help resurrect this property to take it to a museum standard so it can become a tourismdestination, so we can have more money. Sure, maybe it's not marketing; but you can't marketuntil you have something to market. We have an idea and we have an old home that we have indisrepair. No one wants to see that. What they want to see is what she saw that day, maybe a littlepatina, but still in museum shape. That's what we're trying to do here today. With that, I wouldentertain any questions with this caveat. My favorite book is A Lost Lady of hers. [LB379]

SENATOR STINNER: Senator Wishart. [LB379]

SENATOR WISHART: Senator, thank you for bringing this bill today. I think it would be helpfulfor me to know what are the continued costs if we don't invest in the repairs today. [LB379]

SENATOR HARR: Well, see, that's the beauty of it. We just let it dilapidate and fall on itself andthen there's no cost. But I don't think we want to give up on history like that. I think we want topreserve our history. That's one, you know, you go to Europe and they have buildings from theMiddle Ages and before and they preserve their history. I think we should be doing the same.You know, who knows what tourism dollars we lose down the road. It is becoming...it already issomewhat of a tourism destination. It could become a bigger and better tourism destination, butwe got to invest a little. And right now we're in a time where all we look is cut, cut, cut, cut,where can we cut? I think we need to also look at where can we invest and this is an investmentin the state. [LB379]

SENATOR STINNER: Senator Bolz. [LB379]

SENATOR BOLZ: Senator Harr, have you looked at the statute of the State Visitors PromotionCash Fund, just the establishing statute? The comment from John Ricks was that the

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commission's cash fund was created so that the commission shall use the proceeds of the fund togenerally promote, encourage, and attract visitors to and within the state of Nebraska. [LB379]

SENATOR HARR: Yeah. [LB379]

SENATOR BOLZ: And his contention is that this purpose wouldn't fall underneath the cashfund's purpose. But it seems to me that many things could fall under the category of attractingvisitors to the state of Nebraska. [LB379]

SENATOR HARR: And encouraging, yeah. [LB379]

SENATOR BOLZ: And I just wondered if there was anything that you understood about the cashfund that would limit or promote this usage. [LB379]

SENATOR HARR: Yeah. Do I think it falls under that? Yes. By resurrecting this building, youcan promote tourism. You can encourage tourism. You can have it come. If there's nothing tovisit, what are you encouraging? So we need to preserve this so that we can encourage it.[LB379]

SENATOR STINNER: Additional questions? Thank you, Senator. [LB379]

SENATOR HARR: Thank you. [LB379]

SENATOR STINNER: (Exhibit 6) We do have a letter of support from Red Cloud HeritageTourism Development. That concludes the testimony on LB379. We now open the hearing forLB620, Nebraska Developing Youth Talent Initiative. Senator Wayne. [LB379 LB620]

SENATOR WAYNE: Good afternoon. I had to double-check to see if it was good eveningalready. Name is Justin Wayne, J-u-s-t-i-n W-a-y-n-e. I am the District 13 representative for thestate Legislature that represents north Omaha and northeast Douglas County. This is kind of asimple bill but as...after I won my election and being on the school board, I wanted to find a wayto connect more with employers and strictly around construction trades in particular, but to domore to activate our students to be involved. And unlike in the education world, I thinksometimes employees know what they need to train their...employers know what's best to traintheir employees. And so I began to research different government programs that are already outthere currently working and I ran across the Nebraska Developing Youth Talent Initiative that theGovernor actually is a big proponent of. And after looking at what they did already in a coupletwo years with some manufacturing facilities in Omaha and actually across the country, one

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in...across the state, one in Hastings, I thought it would be a great idea if we can increase fundingin that realm but also make sure that we provide training in some construction trades, particularlyconstruction trades. Because if you look at the Omaha area, and I'm looking at Omaha inparticular, we got over $2 billion worth of construction going on in the next five years and that isa great way for us to start a job program to make sure students are getting involved. And it isn'tjust so much the skilled labor on the ground level but all the way from engineers above. And ifyou look at Omaha Public Schools, we've been able to do some great things. One, we have anengineering program at Omaha North--oh, hopefully we don't need that--engineering program atOmaha North, where kids are walking out with some of the top engineering skills in the country,going to Iowa State and other big engineering firms. But on the flip side of that, we also justlaunched our career academy at Benson High School, which is currently under renovation rightnow, with our last 2014 (inaudible) Senator Vargas was on, a part of to get back into the moreconstruction trades. If you're familiar with Omaha, we used to have the old Tech High that wasgeared at teaching hands-on skills. We still have most of Tech High still around, which peopledon't know, in the back of that building. But we wanted to enhance it. And we already have aprogram with IBEW at Benson High School where they're teaching kids electrician. When wehad the Google plant across the river, there was at one point over 500 electricians that werebrought in from out of state of Iowa and Nebraska to help finish that project. And there's goingto be more. With the decommission of Fort Calhoun, with the bond work in the sewer separationproject, with the current OPS bond, UNMC just had a $390 million project, there are all types ofconstruction moving forward. And we...I thought this was a great vehicle to build the employerside of working with schools and teaching kids and getting them excited about trades andfunding that opportunity. So that's the basis of where we came from with this program and whywe're here today. So with that, I'll answer any questions. [LB620]

SENATOR STINNER: Thank you. Additional questions? Senator Bolz. [LB620]

SENATOR BOLZ: Thank you, Senator Wayne, and welcome to Appropriations. If I'mremembering correctly, this, the Developing Youth Initiative...Youth Talent Initiative, was theGovernor's initiative in 2015, though it started out with a $250,000 investment. Can you tell meabout the outcomes of the program so far and the return on investment in the initiative so far?[LB620]

SENATOR WAYNE: Well, that's a...all I know is kind of what's been in the press and that's whywe added a--which we need to probably flesh out--added a reporting mechanism that we reportback so we can define. This came particularly after the performance audit that was done. I thinkanytime that we start tying money to private investor...or not...private companies' employers, weshould develop some better outcomes. So what I put in here was generally we need to develop areport back to the Legislature. But from all the companies, it's more anecdotal, and that's theproblem. From all the companies that have been involved, like the one in Omaha, it's been a

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good program. Kids are getting involved. They're picking up ideas of going into different typesof careers. But besides the anecdotal--can't say the word because I'm tired--evidence, I think weneed more objective and concrete, and that's why I added a reporting requirement to report backto the Legislature on how this money is being used and what the outcomes are. I still think weneed to define what those outcomes are, but that's something that I would like to work with thecommittee on and get done. [LB620]

SENATOR BOLZ: Thank you. [LB620]

SENATOR STINNER: Additional questions? Senator Vargas. [LB620]

SENATOR VARGAS: Welcome to Appropriations also. I wanted to follow up. In the legislation,I believe it's lines 8 through 9, that the Department of Economic Development selects twoindustry partners or industry consortium each fiscal year from the manufacturing, constructiontrades, and information technology sectors. Can you tell me about how...if there's any intentionon how this process, this selection process will be? And I bring it up because I imagine there'scompeting interests for different...in the different organizations wanting to be the one that arehighlighted each year. [LB620]

SENATOR WAYNE: So right now it's a grant process where a partnership between schools andemployers come together and apply to the Department of Economic...or the EconomicDepartment and develop...sorry, Economic Development Department, and from there it's aselection. So it will be the same. The only additional requirement that we're adding to thatrequirement is besides looking at the application and seeing what's good, and right now there'sdeadlines on the Web site and the grant application. We're saying if we want to focus onconstruction, and part of this was also...there was a lot of talk after the general election aboutinfrastructure building. Trump talked about it more than once about how we're going to startdoing more with the infrastructure. You look at the Legislature. We had a gas tax that's going,designed to help roads and build roads. We thought it was critical that we add a constructionelement that one of those people have...one of those companies or partners have to be certifiedwith the DOL because those certified programs really are the ones that train our next generationof skilled labor out there in the work force. And so because of all that construction that we'relooking forward to, I thought it was necessary, and the people that I talked to, that it wasnecessary to add that extra piece of "certified by the Department of Labor" to make sure we tie insome of that construction piece. [LB620]

SENATOR VARGAS: Great. And I just asked because I'm thinking about selection process. Idon't know if there's more detail needed afterwards. But just another question in regards tothe...how is this...is this...I know there's local efforts to do these partnerships in cities and towns,

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right, but what does this look like in other states? Are other states leveraging these types ofprograms? [LB620]

SENATOR WAYNE: Other states are doing multiple different things. If you look at particularlyIowa, they have a wide range of projects where employers, school districts, and students cancome together with funding and learn how to develop the skill sets and certifications that arenecessary. We're growing there and I think this is a conversation as a body we need to starthaving more; that, for example, in a different industry in Omaha, UNMC, there's 250 nurses atUNMC that we can employ tomorrow, that they need. But how do we take these employers andmatch them up with the students? And other states are doing some pretty innovative thingsaround these grant types of programs. And although this is only a million dollars, I think it's astart of a bigger conversation of how do we tie education, economic development into the samerealm to make sure we're matching employers with the potential employees. Because in trueeconomic development, we're not going to go out and recruit 500 more Googles or 500 moreUnion Pacifics. It's going to be increasing wages over the next couple years. We have jobs. We'rejust not filling them to the highest capacity, particularly in east Omaha. And so by using thisability to provide grants to employers with schools, we're connecting them directly and we'rebuilding that partnership that should be happening where it's the school, employer, and studentsworking together to fill that pipeline. So other states like Iowa have a grant program. Florida hasa huge grant program where they're doing a lot around economic development. They have fundsthat are just available for the Governor to write checks to make sure that certain things canhappen in Florida, their economic policies. For example, if a project has to occur and they need$50,000 to get them over the hump, the Governor can write a $50,000 check on the conditionthat they're certified employees or are certified training and other things. It's happening inChicago where actually a company from Omaha set up an entire school where ChicagoLegislature...I mean the Illinois Legislature in Chicago put money in with the public school tocreate a short-term program to fill all their construction requirements. And it was a localcompany out of Omaha who was a part of that to create a temporary school to fill that gap. Andthat's what I think this type of program can be. [LB620]

SENATOR VARGAS: Thank you very much. [LB620]

SENATOR STINNER: Additional questions? Seeing none, thank you. Additional proponents.[LB620]

CHRIS CALLIHAN: It's amazing how fast the room empties. [LB620]

SENATOR STINNER: Good afternoon. [LB620]

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CHRIS CALLIHAN: Good afternoon. Thank you for letting me come and testify in front of theAppropriations Committee today. My name is Chris Callihan, that's C-h-r-i-s C-a-l-l-i-h-a-n. Iam a business rep and organizer for IBEW Local 265 here in Lincoln. I'm coming to talk to youtoday about my local and about the training lines that we have with our partner contractors.Currently, IBEW 265 and our partnering contractors interact with a lot of high schools that wecan and try to. To give you some examples, we do some career fairs. We do a statewide mailingto those different high schools, trying to target their instructors that facilitate skilled trades ortrade classes or their guidance counselors. We also participated in a Nebraska ConstructionCareer Day in 2016. It was at six to seven different locations throughout Nebraska: Scottsbluff,North Platte, Hastings, Norfolk, Milford, just to name a few, Metro in Omaha. So we also havebeen working with some of Lincoln, LPS's, schools. To give you an example, our trainingdirector, Roy, is, and a few others, including myself, have gone out to Lincoln High School andhelped the instructor there actually go facilitating a kind of trades class. When they got to theelectrical portion of it, we went out and helped them facilitate, showing the students on-the-jobtype direct--this is from the field: how to wire from a panel to a light switch, from the lightswitch to an outlet, to a light fixture, that type of stuff, just showing them, exposing them to thevery basics of the actual trade craft. I think that how this could really help is to help introduce.Right now we've got somewhat the network with LPS a little bit. This morning I actually metwith, me, Roy, and another person in the trade, from a different trade actually, met with all theguidance counselors with...for LPS, for the high schools. Tomorrow I have a meeting with all theguidance counselors with junior high. This would help create and bridge that gap with a lot ofthe high schools, junior highs outside of Omaha and Lincoln as well. Scottsbluff has got a careeracademy that's being built right now or part of their new high school. Grand Island has had onefor two or three years. I think this is a really growing trend. It's a good thing. Those treaties,those classes should never have went away. I went through one myself and that's where I gotexposed to a trade to some degree. So I think it's a way for us to do that. Any way we canactually have that conversation with that guidance counselor and the interaction with the student,I think that's a key focal point. It was one thing I really enjoyed about doing the NebraskaConstruction Career Days is they actually brought us out students from junior highs and highschools and interacted with them. We showed them vendors. We showed them different thingsthat we do in the skill set trade, how we use math to do pipe bending, all that type of stuff to kindof give them a light exposure that there is a lot of reward and a lot of great career path in thesetrades. But I think that would help us introduce and bridge that gap. Getting...I guess there's tonsof different directions we can go, you know, with this. I think that's the one thing nice about thisbill, the way Senator Wayne is going through it within the way it's already established is it kindof leaves it open for interpretation on how the schools, how the partners can actually facilitateand put something together. Collaboration is going to be the key. Anytime we can increase thatconversation and collaboration between the two has got to be a win. And the people that aregoing to win the most is going to be those students, giving them a sense of direction, finding thatcareer path that is going to challenge them and encourage them to grow and actually give them a

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rewarding career and a lifetime for them and their families. With that, I'd take any questions. Iwould like to thank Senator Wayne for introducing this bill. I think it's a good bill. So anyquestions? [LB620]

SENATOR STINNER: Thank you. Questions? Seeing none, thank you very much. [LB620]

CHRIS CALLIHAN: Thank you. [LB620]

SENATOR STINNER: Any additional proponents? Seeing none, any opponents? Seeing none,anybody in the neutral capacity? Seeing none, Senator Wayne. [LB620]

SENATOR WAYNE: I do recognize that I'm the last one and I'm probably keeping you guysfrom going home, so I will make this fairly brief. I think one of the most important things we cando as a body is make sure we develop our next generational work force. And looking across thisstate, it's beyond just a public education issue. And using Economic Development Department asa tool of connecting kids to certain trades and certain industries I think will give us a differentanalytical look at what we're doing in our society, particularly in Nebraska. And that's why Ithink it's important that we put some money behind this, also establish the guidelines forreporting back to make sure we can see over the next three to five years where are students goingand what we can do as a policy body and what employers can do to make sure we connect withkids and students to make sure that they are successful in all these different types of industries.But the fact of the matter is we're going to still continue to build. We're going to redo our roads.We're going to still need plumbers. We're going to still need electricians. We're going to needprocessing facilities, whether it's for my other bill, hemp, that all you guys are going to support.The point of it is we're going to need technicians and that is critical in all these differentindustries but particularly the three that we're looking at here today. And with that, I would justask for your support on this bill. [LB620]

SENATOR STINNER: Senator Clements. [LB620]

SENATOR CLEMENTS: This initiative is new to me but is one of the reasons you're proposingthis because public schools have eliminated industrial arts classes? [LB620]

SENATOR WAYNE: Yes. Yes, in a certain way. That was a big deal for Senator Vargas and I onthe Omaha Public School Board because we heard directly from the Omaha Chambers and wesaw statistics of the number of jobs and gaps that we can't fill. When the nuclear power plant wasgetting turned back on, literally, we had electricians and laborers from across the country stayingat hotels because we couldn't fill those jobs. It wasn't that we didn't have the manpower here. It

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Appropriations Committee Transcriber's Office Transcript ...· 3/8/2017 · can make copies for you. With that, we will begin today's hearings with Agency 72, Department of Economic - [PDF Document] (46)

goes back to we removed a lot of basic entry-level classes inside of OPS. We removed to a largeextent Tech High School. And so we have to come up with new ways to meet students wherethey are and, more importantly, to meet employers where they are. Some of the problems wehave in public education is we try to tell employers what their demand is. We're going to createthese type of kids for you. We're going to send them to college and you're going to have to beable to use them. And oftentimes we're not sitting down with employers saying, what's best foryou? And I think what's beneficial about this program is it's bringing in the employers to solvethat problem, saying, what do you need, what training do you need to make sure it happens, andhow do we get kids there, and building that relationship. And for a million dollars across thestate to be able to start having those conversations I think is critical. [LB620]

SENATOR CLEMENTS: Thank you. [LB620]

SENATOR STINNER: Senator Hilkemann. [LB620]

SENATOR HILKEMANN: Senator, how do you compare this program that you're proposing tothe one that's already going on or that they're putting together at Metro Community College?[LB620]

SENATOR WAYNE: It's completely different in the sense that they're targeting kids out of highschool already. We're starting to target 7th and 8th graders and to put them on a different track.[LB620]

SENATOR HILKEMANN: Okay. [LB620]

SENATOR WAYNE: So, theoretically, a kid could be interested in...let's use Benson as anexample, we start targeting kids, showing them real-life experiences, and then they go to BensonHigh School and get in our IBEW program, electrician program. So their junior and senior yearthey're actually taking classes, dual enrolled at Benson and Metro. So when they walk out, theyalready have an associate degree from Metro and if they decide to go the union route, they'vealready had years of experience and training to get where they need to be to start a career. Sothey walk out job-ready to go. So it will actually work in conjunction. The problem is, and this iswhat I just said a second ago, we as the educators on board policy, we try to tell the businesscommunity what they need all the time at the 7th...6th, 7th, and 8th grade level. And we're tryingto say through this program is they need to be a part of the solution. We're going to bring themin. We're going to create a partnership. We're going to help fund that partnership and we're goingto expose these kids. And in four to five years let's see what the numbers say. It could not workor it could work. For right now we sometimes leave the business community at the front door ofmost of our public education facilities. [LB620]

Transcript Prepared By the Clerk of the LegislatureTranscriber's Office

Appropriations CommitteeMarch 08, 2017

46

Appropriations Committee Transcriber's Office Transcript ...· 3/8/2017 · can make copies for you. With that, we will begin today's hearings with Agency 72, Department of Economic - [PDF Document] (47)

SENATOR HILKEMANN: And how does...and I know you mentioned earlier your program thatyou have already at the old Tech School. This would be in addition to that or would it affect that,that program that you have going on at Tech? [LB620]

SENATOR WAYNE: It might not affect it at all, and OPS might not be a recipient. It could beHastings school district where a local business there applies for this particular grant through theDepartment of Economic Development and they create a 6th, 7th, and 8th program there thatcould later feed into a high school program. But it may affect it; it may not affect it. But the keyis not, in this program, there's not necessarily high school students. It's a couple grades belowthat, getting them exposed. [LB620]

SENATOR HILKEMANN: Okay. [LB620]

SENATOR WAYNE: And the reality is if we already missed that 8th year grab of getting the kidexposed and stuff, it costs three to four times more to get that kid reexposed to certain fields.[LB620]

SENATOR HILKEMANN: Okay. [LB620]

SENATOR WAYNE: So we're trying to do it earlier. [LB620]

SENATOR STINNER: Thank you. Any additional questions? Seeing none, thank you. [LB620]

SENATOR WAYNE: Thank you. [LB620]

SENATOR STINNER: (Exhibits 1, 2, and 3) I do have three letters of support. One is fromNorth Central States Regional Council of Carpenters. I have another one from the Omaha JointElectrical Apprenticeship and Training Committee. And the third one is from the AssociatedGeneral Contractors of America, Nebraska Chapter. And that concludes our hearing on LB620.[LB620]

SENATOR WAYNE: Thank you. [LB620]

SENATOR STINNER: Thank you. And concludes us for the day. [LB620]

Transcript Prepared By the Clerk of the LegislatureTranscriber's Office

Appropriations CommitteeMarch 08, 2017

47

Appropriations Committee Transcriber's Office Transcript ... · 3/8/2017  · can make copies for you. With that, we will begin today's hearings with Agency 72, Department of Economic - [PDF Document] (2024)
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